6 Common Plants You Should Avoid Touching While Enjoying The Outdoors | With Pictures!

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Most of us love the outdoors and can’t wait to get out there and enjoy it! Whether you are camping, hiking or just going for a stroll through your favorite walking trail, there are plants that you will want to avoid touching!

We know plants like poison ivy and sumac are nasty and can cause horrendous and painful rashes if touched. But there are many other plants out there, all around us that can cause the same reaction. Do you know what they look like? Most people don’t!

We have put together a great list WITH pictures to help you identify those nasty plants! Although they have their place and function on this earth, they certainly don’t have a place on me!

Poison Ivy: Leaves of Three, Let Them Be!

Poison Ivy

What makes poison ivy toxic? It’s an oil called, “urushiol.” Urushiol’s rash-inducing property has inspired a song, a DC Comics villain, and…well, much trepidation in people walking in the woods! Beware of these bad boys!

Poison Sumac


All you have to do is touch this plant to be exposed to their toxicity — and come down with a nasty, painful rash.

Poison Oak


Poison oak is just as nasty has the two mentioned above. The oils in which this plant produces can easily transfer to your clothing, skin and in return cause a horrible rash that can spread very quickly. 


Stinging Nettles


Like poison sumac and poison ivy, stinging nettles, as its name suggests, is not a plant you want to brush up against when working out in the yard. Your skin will burn with a painful itch for a short time after contact with its rash-inducing spines.

Bull Nettle


After touching this plants stinging hairs, severe burning and itching occurs immediately. Reddening of the skin and perhaps blistering.

Giant Hogweed

Sap from all parts of the plant, particularly from the stem, acts as a phototoxic. When the juice gets on the skin and the skin is then exposed to ultraviolet light (some hours in the sun may be enough), the skin reddens next day, after another day a strong blistering can occur.


What you should do if you come into contact with one of these plants. 

If you come into contact with one of these plants you will most certainly want to wash the toxic oils from your skin and clothing. One of the best kept secrets to riding your body of these toxic oils is actually Dawn dish soap. If you are able to shower, that is best. You will want to wash your body with the Dawn dish soap. The soap will actually neutralize the oils which in return will remove the toxicity from them. This will stop the spread of the oils as well as help the infected areas.

If you do not have access to Dawn dish soap, find a water source and wash up as best you can. You will want to dab your skin while washing and drying as a wiping motion could spread the toxic oils.

Have fun, enjoy nature and always be aware of your surroundings! 

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